Sunday, May 6, 2012

Amsterdam Recap

Originally, I didn’t really have high expectations going to Amsterdam and my family had been the previous April and thought I wouldn’t like it, however, I found the city really charming and qwerky. Three days was the perfect amount of time to spend there. I don't think I'd do more than that and if we'd had more time in the area, we would have preferred to take the train to Brussels instead. However, in the end, I’m glad Ben convinced me to make it part of our trip and that we were able to share the experience with our friends!
If we had had more time, or maybe not slept in so late, I would have liked to try to add in Heineken Experience and the Rijksmuseum.  I know bike tours are popular there as well, but surprisingly we didn’t see any while we were out and about.However, I'm really glad we did fit in Anne Frank, VanGogh and Keukenhof for the tulips!

Another aspect of Amsterdam that I would have liked to taken more advantage of is the food.  Because of the difference in budgets for the group, we tended to just grab small bites here and there. Looking back, we didn’t really seem to ever order full meals, besides our dutch pancake breakfast and a cheeseburger from our fav pub.  My parents and sister actually raved about the food in Amsterdam compared to Paris, so I wish we would have taken the time and funds to go to one of their recommendations. 

They really liked CafĂ© Van Zuylen, which was pub food, but had an outdoor patio that they ate three meals at during their trip.  They also recommended La Vita for Italian as well as Villa Zeezicht and Hotel Pulitzer for a nicer evening meal. 

It was far away from central Amsterdam area, but I also wish we would have had the chance to go to Brouwerij ‘t IJ, which is supposed to be a brewery/pub that is in an old windmill.  I think it would have been neat and also that Ben would have really enjoyed it.

Here’s a link for a Google map that I created based on suggestions from a number of sources (family, friends, shows, and online). For each city I created one of these and printed it out to bring with.  It wasn’t all that great because it’s not detailed enough to read street names when printed out, but it was convenient to use to get use in a general area and used in conjunction with another map we could find out destinatation.

Next stop on our European tour was Paris, where we spent four days.

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